Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hither By Thy Grace I'm Come

(This is not Ebenezer.)
This has been a year of upheaval. 
Jeff has been at a new job for four months, 
and was recently promoted. 
He spent a couple of months without a job, 
and then from September until February 
working part time for very low wages.

God has been good to us.  
Friends we had not seen or spoken to in over a dozen years 
found us and sent money which miraculously 
always arrived in the nick of time. 
Thousands of dollars were mailed to us, handed to us, 
refunded to us, or snuck into our mailbox. 
Roughly $13,641 over the last year, as best I can tell. 
Food arrived on our doorstep. 
Friends invited us over to gather from their gardens. 
We expected a sparse Christmas. 
But on Christmas day, the tree was surrounded with gifts. 
There was never a surplus, but we had enough. 
Just as the spontaneous gifts dwindled 
(from multiple sources all over the country), 
and the part time work was about to end, 
he got a phone call asking him 
to come to work for a company 
two and a half hours south of our home. 
We had been praying and waiting for some time 
for the Lord to give us direction.

Jeff began this season of commuting, 
living with my sister's family during the week, 
and coming back to us on weekends.  
The day before Jeff began his commuting we had to junk his car, 
so I had no transportation if I stayed in our house.  
The kids and I moved into my parents' house 
so we could finish the work on our house 
and put it on the market. 
The stagnant buyers' market. 
The market no one can sell in. 

One week after we put it on the market, 
our house sold in a bidding war 
(which I might add, my mother, sister, and children were praying for). 
And we got full price. 
Our realtor was stunned. 
(Actually, both our realtors -- we had one down south already 
who hadn't seemed to believe us when we told her 
we would be selling our home shortly 
and wanted to start looking down there.) 
On April 15th, we closed. 
We paid off the mortgage, the home equity loan, 
our auto loan, and everything else in sight.

When we talked to our loan officer and he pulled our credit report, 
we laughed out loud. 
Our credit score was extraordinarily high. 
Higher than we are capable of generating 
in a year where our income was less than half of what we've had 
for many years past. 
Higher than it was when Jeff had a steady job with a regular income.

The bank has decided we are a good risk. 
The love of God is a good risk. 
Our realtor observed that, 
"It's obvious Someone is looking out for you." 
Our loan officer wrote to me, 
"He’s watching over all of this to make sure it’s happening."

About the time that we gave up on finding a livable home 
large enough for us, in our small price range, 
in a location we could bear to live in, 
Jeff noticed a new listing. 
I was not in the area at the time, 
and asked him to photograph it well so I could see it. 
We made an offer via cell phones and email. 
I hadn't seen it yet. 
About the same time we were submitting the offer, 
a dear friend of ours sent Jeff a text 
that referenced the verse we had on the chalkboard 
in our bathroom for a long time. 
It was a verse the Lord used with Jeff in the middle of the night 
when we needed direction. 
I don't think our friend knew its significance to us, 
and I know he was not yet aware that we were offering on the house.

It has four bedrooms. 
Five if you count the one without a closet. 
Two bathrooms (a rarity among old New England homes -- 
the only ones we can afford to buy). 
Curved walls. 
Ceiling fans. 
And a lot of painting and floor replacements in our future. 
And it needs new wiring and a new furnace, 
and replacement windows. 
But it is livable after we mop. 
And it was shockingly priced 
considering the others we have seen in that price range. 
And we have it under contract. 
At lower than the listing price. 
And it will have a craft/guest room off the dining room. 
The BIG dining room.  
And a bay window. 
And lots of closet space. 
And good light. 
And it is within walking distance of two of my sisters. 
We are scheduled to close on it Friday morning.
I think I am going to name it Ebenezer. 


Stephanie Seccareccia said...

I love reading your posts! You really have a gift for writing! It is awesome to see how the Lord has his hands on us at ALL times! Congratulations on all your new adventures!

Steadfasthope said...

Thank you, Stephanie. That's sweet. We're looking forward to being settled in.

It'sSteph said...

This is so encouraging to hear, Laura. Especially as we are in such a similar position right now, waiting on the Lord to move, determining to wait on him and his timing and plan for us. Can't wait to see pictures of the new house!